Bookshelf of the Week: Keith Fawkes bookshop

What bibliophile could resist the lure of a bookshop where the weight of books inside is so much that the owner has to take to displaying his stock outside? This is Keith Fawkes bookshop, the subject for this week’s Bookshelf of the Week, and it has sat in a back street location in Hampstead London, for over 40 years.

This shot, as captured by John Keogh aka jovike, may not show the hustle and bustle of the interior of the Fawkes’ bookporium (this shot hints at it), but it speaks volumes in letting people know (in a simple yet effective way I think) that this is the kind of place that one has to rummage through in order to find anything.

And if further proof were needed that this particular bookshop is bursting at the seams with bookish booty, then this description from The Randomness Guide to London will surely suffice:

This place is one of those quintessential ramshackle shops, poky and dark as every available space is filled floor to ceiling with shelves threatening to crumble under the weight of all the collected tomes. More newly acquired books are in piles on the floor wherever there’s a space, and there’s some particularly large piles of art books. The many piles and very cramped spaces make it difficult to sometimes see what’s available.

Absolute bliss! I can think no finer place to wile away a cold and dreary Saturday afternoon. I’m sure you agree? Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to spend a hour or two rooting around in Keith Fawkes bookshop, yourself. If you have then I’d love to hear from you. Comments below. Thank you.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. stujallen (Twitter: stujallen)

    looks like a right little treasure trove rob ,all the best stu